AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders

     

Broncos

  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes that as best as he can tell, there’s no deal in the works for Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay right now. Lindsay is entering the final year of his rookie deal and will be a restricted free agent next offseason. 
  • Troy Renck of ABC Denver writes that Broncos’ free-agent S Justin Simmons remains a “top priority” for Denver and expects them to use the franchise tag or finalize a long-term extension. 
  • Renck expects Broncos’ free-agents CB Chris Harris Jr., DE Shelby Harris, S Will Parks, and C Connor McGovern to depart in free agency.
  • While Renck has the feeling DE Derek Wolfe that is “more likely” to return, there is no guarantee Denver gets a deal done.
  • Renck reports that the Broncos are expected to pursue Cowboys WR Amari Cooper if he reaches free agency and he could command a five-year, $95 million deal.
  • Renck notes that the Broncos could also go after Patriots G Joe Thuney, Rams ILB Cory Littleton, Bears ILB Nick Kwiatkoski, Bears CB Prince Amukamara, Texans DT D.J. Reader, and Chargers RB Melvin Gordon.
  • According to Renck, Harris is moving forward like the Broncos will not make him an offer and will only pursue him if Harris receives a “tepid market.”  
  • Wolfe confirmed that Denver plans to let him test free agency to see what his market is before re-signing him: “[The Broncos] talked to my agent at the Combine… it looks like they’re going to let me hit free agency, see what the market is… It’s a nice way of saying, ‘We like you; we love you, but not for that kind of money.’” (Andrew Mason)
  • The Broncos hired Korey Jones as an assistant strength coach. (Mike Klis)

Chargers

The Chargers were one of the first teams to be linked to Patriots QB Tom Brady as a new team if he were to ultimately leave New England as a free agent this offseason. Both Brady and the Chargers have kept their cards close to the vest as to how they will proceed, but Chargers RB Austin Ekeler is completely on board with the idea of bringing the future Hall of Famer out west to Los Angeles and home to California. 

“Here’s why I think it would be a good fit. We just lost a lot of leadership in Philip Rivers, right? So it’s like, all right, there’s a void there,” Ekeler said in an interview on NFL Network. “Also, Russell Okung, one of our tackles, got traded. He was one of our team leaders as well. So there’s a void in leadership right there. It’s an opportunity for people to step up, but if you bring a guy like Tom Brady in the room, he’s been there, done that. He’s already got the leadership qualities and he’s already proven that he’s a winner. So hey, we can build something around that, too.”

Raiders

Raiders HC Jon Gruden is no stranger to questions about his team’s supposed interest in Patriots QB Tom Brady. Given the presence of Raiders incumbent starting QB Derek Carr, though, it makes for a potentially awkward situation. Asked again at an event in Las Vegas, Gruden continued to emphasize how happy the team is with Carr’s performance without explicitly saying they weren’t interested in Brady. 

“You’re killing me, man,” Gruden said via John Katsilometes of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We love our quarterback. Our quarterback’s a really good player, Derek Carr. I want to reiterate that to everybody here in Vegas. We’ve got a good, young quarterback, and the film, the statistics and analytics prove it.”

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